How to start a software development company?
The software industry is a growing market which makes it interesting for business. Did you ever wondered how to start a software development company? Or are you planning to build your own software development company? Then we have good news! Our CEO, Renaldo Melkert, spoke with 48 software development companies around the world that recently started. We asked for their insights on how to get started. We have summarized these insights for you in this article via 10 easy steps to get started.
1. Which problem are you trying to solve?
When you start a company you will provide products and services for which clients will pay. Clients don’t need your product or service perse, but they need a solution for their problems. If you want to start a software development company it is already pretty clear what you are going to provide: software. However, this is quite broad and generic. Try to be more specific in the problems you aim to solve for your potential clients. Do you want to develop whole projects from A tot Z (outsourcing) and do you want to provide developers that will be managed by the clients (staff augmentation). Think clearly about the problem you try to solve for your client and create a solution for that.
2. Create a business model canvas
When you start a software development company there are many things you have to consider. For example, you have to think about the costs you will make to launch your company, the service you aim to provide, your customer segments, resources that you need, which activities you will be performing and many more. A business model canvas is a template where you can fill in all the details about your company on a high level. This will give you a better overview of your software development company you aim to create.
3. Define your target customer
Software development has many flavors. You can build basic Wordpress websites for freelancers to make them online visible or you can develop complex artificial intelligence or blockchain solutions for innovative enterprises. Before you start your software development company you have to think carefully about who your target customer is. By focussing on a niche it will be easier to create a services that matches with the needs of your clients.
4. Get financial resources to get started
When you start a software development company you will make costs to get started. For example, you need to officially register your company which can cost money, you have to open a bank account, buy a domain and hosting for you website and you need some budget for marketing and sales. It is possible to get started with limited financial resources. Be creative in the beginning, keep your costs low and focus on getting paying clients as soon as possible. You can also keep a parttime job to cover you expenses in the beginning. Want to start big? Then you can try to get an investor on board that will invest money in return for shares in your company.
5. Register your company officially
After doing all the preparations it’s time to get started. You are going to officially register you software development company. Around the world this is done differently, but in many cases you need to register at a chamber of commerce, which might have a different name in your country, to make your company official. Registered? Congratulations! You are now officially ready for business.
6. Build a portfolio of projects
When you start a software development company it’s smart to build of portfolio op projects already. In many cases when you are going to talk with potential clients they will ask for previous work which you have done to evaluate your services. Ideally you want paying clients as soon as possible, but when you just get started it can be challenging. Putting in the extra work and do some free project or at a discount which will help with building your portfolio and getting paying clients in the future.
7. Create exposure for your company
When you started your software development company you are all excited and probably told many people in your surroundings about it. However, outside your own circle people and companies never heard about your company before. Therefore it’s important to create exposure for your software development company by performing marketing activities. For example, you can create a LinkedIn account and start actively posting content. This will make your company visible. Try to figure out where you target customer is active and start making yourself visible in front of them.
8. Get your first paying clients
You started a software development company to make money. Otherwise you could have started a non-profit. Getting paying clients for your company is very important because it will generate an income. With the paying clients you can cover your expenses and you will have an income for yourself and your (future) team members. In order to get your paying clients you have to be very active with marketing & sales. The beginning can be hard and challenging, but as your company matures it will only get easier. Looking for tips to get your first paying clients? Check out this article.
9. Deliver good products and services & get referrals
You invested a lot of time, energy and money to build your company and attracting your first paying clients. Therefore it’s important that you provide good services to your clients. This will make your clients satisfied which will be beneficial in many ways. For example, happy clients can have additional work in the future, can refer you to other potential clients and can provide you good reviews and cases to showcase to new clients.
10. Scale your company
When you managed to turn your ideas for a software development company into an actual company with paying clients you have achieved an amazing milestone. Congratulations! From here on you can look ahead and focus on bringing your company to a next level from startup to scaleup. For example, you can hire employees, increase your marketing activities and start with expanding globally.
Important things to know before you start!
Many people that want to start a software development company are very excited to get started. However, building a successful company from scratch is quite challenging. In practice you see that most company don’t manage to get enough paying clients and survive in the long term. We hope this doesn’t demotivate you, but does help with expectation management. Reading this article is already a good start to get the basic insights. Besides, finding good coaches and partners is always a good thing to do to increase the chance of success.
Support you can get from Your Software Supplier and our CEO Renaldo Melkert when you want to start a software development company
At Your Software Supplier we are specialized in connecting software clients with software suppliers. We provided various services that help starting software development companies getting more exposure, leads and clients. Curious how we can support you with getting your first paying software clients? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with some info about the company you want to create.
Additionally, our CEO Renaldo Melkert has a background in the startup ecosystem and has more than 14 years of experience with building companies. In some cases he coaches and invest in new software development companies. Curious how Renaldo Melkert can help you? Send him a message on LinkedIn with a request.
At last, we hoped this article gave you valuable insights on how to start a software development company. We wish you good luck in your adventure and in case you need support you know where to find us.